The UTEP Football pulled even at 10 with 25th ranked Southern Miss, and Mike Price thought he had the Golden Eagles right where he wanted them. Instead, Southern Miss rolled, scoring 21 points in the second half for a 31-13 victory over the Miners. Southern Miss improves to 7-1, while UTEP falls to 4-4, 1-3 in Conference USA.
Senior RB Leilyon Myers has scored a rushing touchdown in six of the last seven games.
The 47-yard field goal by junior Dakota Warren in the third quarter tied his longest of the year. He also hit a 47-yarder at NM State on Sept. 17. Warren’s career-long is 57 yards against Memphis in 2010. UTEP’s leading receiver has had a single catch in three straight games for the first time since the first three games of the 1961 season.
Tonight Jordan Leslie had a team-high 40 yards on one reception. The 40-yard catch was the longest of his college career.
The nine tackles for junior DB Richard Spencer were a career-high (previous best seven stops at UAB in 2010). Spencer led the team in tackles for the first time in his career. Including Southern Miss’ first touchdown tonight which came off a UTEP fumble, opponents have scored 66 points off turnovers this season to the Miners’ 30.
After rushing for 877 yards in the previous three games, the Miners were held to 68 yards tonight, their fewest since week two at SMU.
UTEP scored one touchdown, tying its low of the season. The Miners also scored one TD at NM State on Sept. 17.
Mike Price after the game:
Was that the best team you’ve played this year?
We’ve played some pretty good teams they certainly looked like it for the last quarter I
thought we played pretty well for the first three quarters, particularly on defense and we
got deep in the back end on a lot of runs and passes. The offense we were just out of sync
in the second half but at times I thought our teams played really valiantly for three
quarters of the game but they ended up being better than us and didn’t make mistakes like
Did fatigue, especially on the defensive side of the football, become a factor?
I don’t think so and watching the game I didn’t think our defense was tired. Looked to me
like they had huge guys on offense but it looked like their offense was tired. Their
receivers and backs maybe weren’t. I don’t think it was a fatigue factor with us. We just
missed some plays. We can play better than that but we didn’t.
Did Southern Miss make adjustments at halftime?
We just missed some plays. Missed some passes, threw it too high or too low. Didn’t run
it quite right. In the first half they were blitzing us and got after it and missed some
protections and our quarterback didn’t have very long to throw.
Did you see some encouraging things in the first three quarters?
I thinkwe played well in the first three quarters and I think we played well in the first half
with a lot of courage and determination. Our team was ready our fans were ready and we
were healthy and ready to go. We came out and we played hard the whole game and we
need to believe in each other and trust in each other and come together as a family with
the good chemistry we have in our program and go to Houston and beat Rice. They
played better, they won, give them credit.